STEM Education News
In This Issue:
- President’s FY15 Budget Calls for Increased STEM Education Funding
- House Education and Workforce Committee Discusses Teacher Preparation
- President Obama Recognizes Outstanding STEM Educators at the White House
- NMSI Accepting University Proposals for UTeach Program
- NOAA Offers a Month of Deep-Sea Professional Development
President’s FY15 Budget Calls for Increased STEM Education Funding
On Tuesday, President Obama sent Congress his budget proposal for the 2015 fiscal year. The plan proposes an investment of $135.4 billion for Federal scientific research and development, an increase of $1.7 billion from 2014 enacted levels. This includes $2.9 billion for STEM education programs across the federal agencies, a 3.7 percent increase over 2014 enacted levels. While last year’s 2014 budget request proposed a drastic reorganization of federal STEM education programs, the 2015 budget plan is quite different in that it does not transfer funding between the agencies. As a result, STEM education funding for agencies including NASA, NIH, and NOAA has been partially restored compared to the 2014 proposal. The administration calls upon the agencies to make internal consolidations, while continuing to invest the programs that are the most effective.
Agencies will work together to implement and build upon the goals of the Federal STEM Education 5-Year Strategic Plan, developed by the Committee on STEM Education (CoSTEM). The administration’s priorities, as outlined in the budget request, align with the five priority areas identified in the strategic plan: K-12 instruction; undergraduate education; graduate education; broadening participation in STEM education and careers; and informal education and out-of-school time. Included in the $2.9 billion request for STEM education programs are the following key initiatives: Full article
House Education and Workforce Committee Discusses Teacher Preparation
On Thursday, February 27, the House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education and the House Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training held a joint hearing titled, “Exploring Efforts to Strengthen the Teaching Profession.” Subcommittee Chairman of Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Todd Rokita (R-IN) chaired the hearing, which focused on the importance of the teaching profession and how to better prepare teachers to influence the nation’s youth, both, before they step in a classroom and while they are licensed teachers. Full article
President Obama Recognizes Outstanding STEM Educators at the White House
This week, President Obama recognized 102 outstanding STEM educators from across the United States for outstanding contributions in education. The teachers, all recipients of the prestigious 2012 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), traveled to Washington, DC despite a snow storm that shut down government offices and area schools earlier this week. Albert Einstein Fellow Natalie Harr, an elementary school teacher from Mantua, Ohio who is currently serving at the National Science Foundation’s Computer & Information Science & Engineering (CISE) Directorate, is among the awardees.
The teachers participated in a week of professional development and recognition activities, including a private meeting at the White House with President Barack Obama. Awardees also had the opportunity to meet with members of Congress and senior staff from the U.S. Department of Education and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. On Wednesday, the educators received their awards during a special ceremony at the National Academies of Science. In addition to the week of recognition in DC, the PAEMST awardess received a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion.
PAEMST is awarded annually to outstanding K-12 science, mathematics and computer science teachers from across the country. The winners are selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians, and educators following an initial selection process done at the state level. According to the White House, the 2012 recipients were selected from a pool of 950 applicants. Each year the award alternates between teachers teaching kindergarten through 6th grade and those teaching 7th through 12th grades. The 2012 awardees recognized this week are teachers of kindergarten through 6th grade.
NMSI Accepting University Proposals for UTeach Program
The National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI), in partnership with the UTeach Institute is currently accepting proposals from research universities interested in implementing the UTeach Secondary STEM Teacher Preparation Program Model during fall 2015. Up to five universities will be awarded with funding provided by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Those interested submit the grant application available through the UTeach Request for Proposals. A letter of intent is requested from interested universities by March 27 followed by a full proposal on June 17, 2014. The UTeach Institute is holding six support conference calls for universities interested in submitting a proposal. The next call is scheduled for March 25 at 1:00pm CDT.
With the expansion of UTeach to the selected universities, the program will be in 45 universities and is expected to produce more than 9,000 math and science teachers in the United States by 2020. UTeach recruits and prepares students studying mathematics, science, and computer science disciplines to enter careers in secondary education by enabling them to earn both a degree in their major and a teaching certification without adding time or expense to their four-year degree program. Learn more here.
NOAA Offers a Month of Deep-Sea Professional Development
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is currently offering a month-long online professional development course on deep-sea discoveries in the Atlantic. The Online Workshop to Advance Transatlantic Ocean Science Literacy is available March 3 – April 4, 2014 through a partnership with the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research and the College of Exploration. The seminar is designed for educators, scientists, policy makers and others with an interest in ocean science.
During the 2013 field season, the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer explored a variety of seafloor features and biological communities among largely unexplored canyons in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean, providing new information about how these canyons change over time and revealing hot spots for biodiversity. From July to August, an interdisciplinary team of scientists together with ocean educators and the public were able to observe in real time imagery from the deep Atlantic using NOAA’s new remotely-operated vehicle Deep Discoverer. The online workshop will focus on mission discoveries, including the importance of deepwater canyons, their associated deep-sea corals, newly-discovered cold methane seeps, and Mytilus Seamount. Join keynote speakers, ocean explorers, scientists, ocean science educators and others interested in learning more about the deep Atlantic as you gain access to online teaching resources, ROV highlight videos, multimedia resources and join in conversations with colleagues from around the world.
The last two weeks of this online workshop (March 24-April 4) extend the conversation to a broader discussion of transatlantic ocean science research and education, building a foundation on which to continue the dialogue on transatlantic ocean literacy. We hope to foster exchanges within a community-based learning environment among educators, scientists, and others representing many countries who are interested in further defining/describing the priority areas of focus for transatlantic ocean literacy.